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Dive Brief:

  • Forthcoming rules from the Federal Aviation Administration could help drone delivery take flight in the U.S., panelists said this month during a discussion at the CES conference in Las Vegas.
  • Drone delivery has yet to become commonplace, partly due to federal regulations limiting remote pilots’ ability to fly a drone unless they can see it throughout an entire flight or meet certain other requirements, the panelists said.
  • Abigail Smith, deputy executive director at the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office, said the agency will propose new regulations this year to support greater drone use, including delivery, saying that “safety is our North Star.”

Dive Insight:

Although drone operators can get waivers from the FAA that allow them to bypass so-called “visual line of sight” rules if they prove they can do it safely, such requirements discourage businesses and other organizations from pursuing drone delivery, panelists said.

An FAA committee in March published a report recommending changes to visual line of sight and related regulations. In the report, the committee recommended that the agency standardize “an acceptable level of risk” for all uncrewed aircraft systems, change right-of-way rules, adopt new pilot training requirements, create new regulations for which uncrewed aircraft can operate beyond visual line of sight, and establish a non-mandatory framework that allows third-party services to support beyond visual line of sight operations.

Pour en savoir plus : Why drone delivery hasn’t taken flight in the US